Jazz Studies

Oregon’s renowned program in jazz studies is one of the most exciting new jazz programs in the country, and boasts outstanding performing ensembles including three big bands, a jazz guitar ensemble, a Latin jazz ensemble, and multiple combos. The comprehensive curriculum includes courses in theory, performance practice, improvisation, piano, repertoire study, arranging and composition, history, pedagogy, program planning and development, and studio instruction.

In addition to dedicated practice space for jazz drummers and small groups, the 2008 upgrade to the UO’s music facilities included the creation of a state-of-the-art studio for jazz instruction, rehearsal, and student recording projects.

Recent guest performers include Seamus Blake, John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckman, Gary Versace, Danilo Perez, Vijay Iyer, Donny McCaslin, Dan Tepfer, Paul McKee, Steve Wilson, Maria Schneider, Jorge Roeder, Ron Miles, Don Braden, Ted Poor, Thomas Marriott, Luis Bonilla, and Rich Perry.

Awards and Honors

The UO's program in jazz studies encourages students to compete in prestigious competitions. In the past fifteen years, UO students have won solo awards sponsored by the Reno Jazz Festival and Downbeat magazine dozens of times.

Since 2000, the Oregon Jazz Ensemble has been named “Outstanding College Big Band” for eight of the ten years the ensemble has attended the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival—more so than any other college ensemble. More kudos for the Oregon Jazz Ensemble:

  • 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 Outstanding College Jazz Ensemble, Reno International Jazz Festival
  • 2008 Downbeat Magazine Award for College Outstanding Performance
  • 2005 International Association of Jazz Educator's Convention, Long Beach, CA
  • 2003, 1997 Northwest Music Educator's National Conference, Portland, OR
  • 2009, 2008, 2002, 1998 Oregon Music Educator's Association Conference, Eugene, OR
  • 2002 Western International Band Conference, Seattle, WA

Performance Opportunities

  • Oregon Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Lab Bands II and III
  • Jazz Combos I through X
  • Jazz and Studio Guitar Ensemble
  • Latin Jazz Ensemble